Monday, April 30, 2007

Westminster Bookstore

For a good selection of reformed books, good prices and $5 shipping check out Westminster Bookstore. I have used them in the past and they were prompt in shipping the book I purchased as well.

Westminster Bookstore

I have to also admit that for every 50 people that check out their site through this link I can earn a gift certificate. You can do this to by signing up for their Blog Partners Program.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Goal is to Worship God

Scott at These are the generations of… writes on: The Family Integrated Church model - after a year and a half , and has many thought provoking things to say about the FIC. His comment that:

“But the Family Integrated Church (FIC) model is not the true solution to what was ailing us, and what we believe is ailing the church universal, and our culture in general. The FIC model is merely a label applied to what is one part of the whole solution.”

This is so true as if we begin to think of some model of “church” as the solution we will in the end worship that model, just check out any church growth website for the worship of church models. Instead we are to seek out God’s way of worshiping HIM, as HE does have the right to dictate that as much as that may bother people, and follow that path. I truly feel that the worshiping of all generations together is the most glorifying to God as when we segregate we divide the body instead of unifying it.

It is interesting to me that in today’s day and age of downplaying doctrine as a way of unifying we miss the most obvious way to unify and that is to all worship, which by the way I do believe is doctrinal, together regardless of age or life situation. This mindset probably comes from the church in many ways buying into the world’s view of family and generations instead of accepting God’s view. We need to reclaim God’s call for the family and worship and come to the realization that God is much clearer on how to worship than many want to accept. God understands that left to our own understanding we will worship Him in ways that are not glorifying to Him but instead glorify man. Just as God led the people out of Egypt to worship Him He calls us out of our sin to worship HIM and we need to do so as He desires.

Trying to bring this back to where I started before heading off in some other direction I would hope that people would not simply see the Family Integrated Church simply as another church model. I pray they would see it as a sincere desire to worship God as He desires to be worshipped and thus be the most glorying to Him. This is where the FIC is to be more than simply how we meet on the Lord’s Day but is to extend into all of life so that all of our lives are Christ exalting and God glorifying.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Thoughts on the Family Integrated Church

As I further work on the new church start, Soverign Grace Christian Fellowship, I am part of I am still surprised by those that do not see a Family Integrated Church as being a good thing. The struggle that many seem to have is the idea of having children in the service or the idea of there being no youth group. Have we so bought into the age segregation myth that the way out is so hard? Are we so used to a form of comfort in corporate worship that to change things is too much to ask? Are we so afraid to disciple our own children that we cannot change?

These are important questions to ask as more and more churches are being segregated by age and not just with children and youth. You have the 20 somethings church over there and the 30 something church over here and this church more for seniors and one over there for artists and you name some other special group. The end results are disjointed and less than complete, in my opinion, local church bodies. I have even read of one church that fully expects to lose its members as they grow older because the churches goal is a certain age group, something seems wrong with this. This sounds more like a Madison Avenue advertising campaign than a healthy church growth endeavor.

I find it hard to justify all of this age or life situation focus by scripture even though I have heard some who would try. The usual reason seems to be that this is the best way to reach people and since the end goal is numbers then we should do whatever is necessary to get those numbers. I think this is short sighted and misses the point of the great commission in that we are called to make disciples and not simply converts. It would seem that the New Testament example of discipleship that we see in scripture, especially in Acts, involves the whole community and not simply some special segment of it.

When we worship with children in our midst we can learn from them, as Jesus often used children as examples to His disciples, and they can learn from us, or at least they should. Leave out this dynamic and there is a serious hole in the process. When we separate out the youth and then move them to some other group they begin to not really be a functioning part of the local body, except when it is somehow convenient. What better way for a youth to learn to be a vital part of the church body than to be one from the start.

Now I realize some could say that a Family Integrated Church is no different in that its focus is the family. Well this is definitely a danger but the fact it is a danger does not negate its validity. The goal of the Family Integrated Church first and foremost should be to exalt Christ and grow in His grace. One of the means of this is to try and help families regain the biblical view of family and thus worship God in doing this. So while families may be more attracted to a FIC this is not necessarily the goal. The goal is to disciple the generations in the most biblical way and I think this is done by first preaching the word. But, also a part of this is the training of existing families to disciple their own families and to help in raising the next generation to be ready to reclaim the family as God intended.
These are just some more thoughts as I spend time in prayer and thought on this adventure God has my family and I being a part of.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A New Church Start: Sovereign Grace Christian Fellowship

After all of the contemplating what a Family Integrated Church would look like we have moved forward with starting a church. The name of the new church is Sovereign Grace Christian Fellowship and we have a temporary web site up at: . Stop on by the website and sign the guestbook.

So as to be able to transition out of the church I am presently serving at we are starting with a Bible Study on Friday nights and will begin services the first part of July. I think it is just as important how one leaves a church as it is how one joins, or in our case starts, a new church. We have been at Brea Center Baptist Church for 10 years so this new venture God has moved my family and me into is exciting.

We presently have four families committed to the start and we are gong to meet at our home for now until we grow to the point where we need to move. We simply see a need to start meeting as a church family and letting God move us as He sees fit.

Over the next weeks and months I will be writing some on this new ministry and try and share a little about not only starting a new church but starting a Family Integrated Church. Keep us in your prayers as our main purpose in all of this and what we always need to keep at the forefront of our minds is that we are here to exalt and worship Christ.

Interview on preaching with Voddie Baucham

Over at Unashamed Workman there is an interview on preaching with Voddie Baucham: Ten Questions for Expositors - Baucham. I have listened to a number of Voddie’s sermons and I highly recommend them.

Here is a link to some sermons by Voddie that was put together by Paul Schafer at Reforming My Mind – MP3’s: Voddie Baucham MP3 Sermons. By the way Paul’s site has a lot of great resources so I recommend checking it out.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Are you Homeschooling or Schooling at Home? Part 3

Matt has another installment on homeschooling (Are you Homeschooling or Schooling at Home? Part 3) with some good references to Charles Spurgeon and Richard Baxter.

Baxter is insightful when he says:

““Nothing can be rightly known, if God be not known: nor is any study well managed, nor to any great purpose, if God is not studied.”

All too often we assume that the goal of homeschooling is to make sure our kids get the best information but all the information in the world without true knowledge of God is nothing. It is an understanding of the creator that allows us to even comprehend HIS creation.

So I can do no more than agree with Spurgeon and Baxter that if we fail to teach our children the deep truths of God they will never truly comprehend even the basics of the world around them.

Again as Baxter says, and this can be applied to any subject:

“Your study of physics and other science is not worth a rush, if it be not God that you seek after in them.”

So remember when, you homeschool that the goal is not simply schooling at home but schooling in such a way that God is central to all that is done. The end result we should desire of our children is that they are God centered and not education, or any other facet of life, centered.

Interview with Philip Ryken on Preaching

Over at Unashamed Workman is an interview with Philip Ryken, of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, on preaching. Next weeks interview will be with Voddie Baucham.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Around the Blogosphere

It has been a little while since I have been to my blog, I guess that is what getting sick will do. Here are some things from around the blogosphere:

Charley over at Home Discipling Dad writes on how the church is to be different from the world and also how this relates to raising our children: Just another Flavor of Ice Cream?

Over at Fide-O they have a good chart on the 4 Views of the Millennium

John Piper writes on The Morning I Heard the Voice of God, make sure you read the whole article and then ask yourself do you regularly hear the voice of God.

Tom Ascol says: I confess I have a private prayer language, make sure you read all of this one as well so as to ask yourself if you have one as well.

Here is an Interview with Sam Storms